Commentary

'I Wanted My Kids to Know Me': Jobs Bio Out Oct. 24

Steve Jobs Book 

Predictably, the upcoming Walter Isaacson biography of the late Steve Jobs rocketed to the top of the Amazon bestseller list yesterday on news of the former Apple CEO's death. In fact, the book occupies both #1 and #2 spots on the bestseller list, the hardcover followed by the Kindle edition. Publisher Simon & Schuster has confirmed that the publication date of the book has been pushed forward for a second time, now to Oct. 24. Thus, the book will be available shortly after the latest iteration of Job's greatest contribution to mobile media, the iPhone 4S, is released.

"Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson is purported to be a frank chronicle of Jobs' life, written with its subject's cooperation but not with any editing rights, the author contends.  Jobs did not even ask to read the final draft. The book is based on more than 40 interviews with the Apple founder Isaacson says he conducted over two years. Hundreds of supporting interviews with family, friends and associates are also part of the bio. Isaacson, currently the CEO of the Aspen Institute, is the former chairman of CNN and managing editor of Time magazine. A tireless biographer, he has chronicled the full lives of Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Kissinger and written biographical sketches of American thinkers from a range of pursuits.

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Isaacson last interviewed Jobs four weeks ago. The book was to be published originally in early 2012, but it was moved into a mid-November schedule after Jobs resigned from Apple as CEO last summer. The story behind the resignation has been included in the biography.

In an upcoming essay on Jobs for Time magazine (quoted at 9to5Mac), Jobs revealed to Isaacson only weeks before his death why he opened up to the biographer after a lifetime of guardedness. "I wanted my kids to know me," he told Isaacson. "I wasn't always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did."

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